Monday, October 19, 2020
Monday, September 21, 2020
Gosh, there is SO MUCH to talk about when you say 2020 Tour de France! I think I will start a few rungs down from the top with Richie Porte, who fought tooth and nail to get onto the podium. Well done Richie, I think the entire world has been rooting for him to break the bad-luck streak and do this. And just in time, as I don't see him getting the chance with his new team next year (Death Star...darn it Richie!) He overcame a LOT to do it. The flat on the dirt section (stage 18 I think) was terrifying, but he got a bike and pulled his way back. And then to take enough time in Stage 20 to get on the podium, that was quite special!
Next: Sagan, and the Green Jersey. CVV and Chris talked about this a lot, but it was SO SPECIAL this year. Setting the clock back to when he was relegated for over-aggressiveness against Wout in the sprint where he had taken 2nd (30 points), and lost that AND 13 more points...that was crushing. And a man in his prior leadout train has been the one to take the green! When Bora went out the very next day and destroyed the Peleton putting Peter in position to take max points in the intermediate sprint (which they did for several other stages) was stunning, most especially to the rest of the peleton who were expecting easy stages until the end. Sagan made the entire Tour more fun to watch as he gave it his very best to regain the Green. Sadly it never happened, and we all are left wondering if this was a 1-time "off year" or is this the inevitable decline of an aging cyclist. Sagan hasn't won a race this year, let-alone in the Tour. I truly hope it was the madness of this Pandemic-year and the stopping/restarting of the season that left him in less than stellar condition. We will see next year.
Americans in the Tour: Sepp Kuss, Neilson Powless, and uhm, what was his name, the guy I don't recall seeing even ONCE in action this year...oh yeah...TJ. I saw (not counting stage 21) that he finished in 90th place! This for a former "GC guy". Say what? My how the mighty have fallen. Seriously...I can't recall seeing him in action ONCE this Tour. But that can't be said about Powless nor Kuss! Powless was in a bunch of break-aways when he wasn't directly supporting Rigo, and almost won a stage if I recall. And Kuss? DAMN can that kid CLIMB! That he was repeatedly the last man standing with Roglic in the big mountains says it all. The Durango Kid. Pretty sure I will remember him! It was really fun watching him when it was his turn to go in front, how he'd check with Primo for orders and then do it.
Bernal and Quintana. Wow. What epic collapses they both suffered. Were they just not ready or was it something else? Q wasn't hardly ever in any contention, and when the climbs got steep instead of flying he faltered. Bernal and his team, SO dominant over the last near decade, were on their back-feet pretty much since day 1. How quickly they fell and how fast Jumbo took over the mantle of SUPER-TEAM. Both Bernal and Quintana had won big races quite young, and everybody was saying how they will be future multi-Tour winners, and that doesn't appear to be the case. I hope we aren't saying that about Pogacar in the coming years...it's a LOT of pressure to perform at the highest level in the biggest race, especially when your pay-check has shot up expecting that.
Covidiots. We've all talked about this a lot, and even on the TT when the crowds were gathered, there they were. LOTS of them. Each time throughout the Tour when the roads were steep and the crowds were making a tiny passage for the riders, I'd watch the faces of the crowd as the camera/rider went by. By my rough guess, 1 in 20 to 1 in 30 did NOT have a mask on! Seriously...in every bunch of fans if you pause the video and count, there they were. Within a foot or 2 of the poor rider just trying to get thru, no mask, SCREAMING (and blowing Covid-spit) at the approaching riders. It is truly amazing that none of the riders "got it". We will see in the next week or so if that continues, or did some get infected from the last week of racing. I seriously don't get it...WHY won't they wear masks? Just how selfish can a person be?
OK...I need to head to work, didn't get close to all my thoughts...so I will post this and head in...feel free to vent/rave/whatever about the amazing race we just witnessed!